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Skype’s New Dawn?

We talk about Facebook, twitter, MySpace and Friendster as the big social networks but we keep forgetting one that is far bigger than that: Skype. This from a Bloomberg piece on Skype’s vacillating fortunes: Skype has soared in popularity since it started in 2003 and has about 548 million users worldwide—more than Facebook, MySpace and Twitter combined. Pretty much everyone I know is on Skype—more so than Facebook—and their investment in it is greater: They had to figure out how to install software, set up a microphone, a webcam, create an account, and maybe even buy credit. More importantly, they can actually estimate its valueContinue readingSkype’s New Dawn?

The iPhone Dream

Shocking pricing from New Zealand’s vodafone, the first country to launch the iPhone 3G. A $200 iPhone? More like $2,000-$5,000 after charges. As ReadWriteWeb points out: Carrier greed worldwide is probably the major reason why the Mobile Web is struggling to take off. You can’t blame them for trying to make some money while they still can, because that scraping sound is the rats trying to secure stowage on a sinking ship. Vodafone NZ Charges “Like a Wounded Bull” For iPhone 3G – ReadWriteWeb

The iPhone Dream

Shocking pricing from New Zealand’s vodafone, the first country to launch the iPhone 3G. A $200 iPhone? More like $2,000-$5,000 after charges. As ReadWriteWeb points out: Carrier greed worldwide is probably the major reason why the Mobile Web is struggling to take off. You can’t blame them for trying to make some money while they still can, because that scraping sound is the rats trying to secure stowage on a sinking ship. Vodafone NZ Charges “Like a Wounded Bull” For iPhone 3G – ReadWriteWeb

Skype SMS’ Teething Problems

You’ve probably all heard of Skype’s new SMS service, which is very cool. If you have a Skype-Out account, you can send SMS messages to cellphones and, if you register you cellphone number with Skype, the recipients can reply to you on your mobile phone. Great idea. Only problem: It doesn’t work. Well, it does work, but not always. At least one cellular operator doesn’t seem to pass the messages on. That wouldn’t be a problem, except that Skype says that the message has been delivered, and charges you for it. Teething troubles, I guess, but still a nuisance, if you’re counting your Skype pennies.Continue readingSkype SMS’ Teething Problems

Skype’s 100 Million: Where The Hell Are They?

Internet telephony folks Skype today says that it now has 100 million registered users. A press release (free registration required) says that this was achieved in “just two-and-a-half year’s time [sic], and has nearly doubled in size from September 2005 when it had 54 million registered users.” This is truly impressive. But if this is the case, where the hell is everyone? My Skype currently shows 3,633,607 users online. Admittedly this is during the Asian day, when traffic is not as high as when the Europeans and Americans wake up. But that’s less than 4% of registered users actually online. OK, allowing for people who are ‘away’Continue readingSkype’s 100 Million: Where The Hell Are They?

Ebay to buy Skype: It’s Official

eBay Inc. has agreed to acquire Luxembourg-based Skype Technologies SA, the global Internet communications company, for approximately $2.6 billion in up-front cash and eBay stock, plus potential performance-based consideration. Here’s the rest of the release: The acquisition will strengthen eBay’s global marketplace and payments platform, while opening several new lines of business and creating significant new monetization opportunities for the company. The deal also represents a major opportunity for Skype to advance its leadership in Internet voice communications and offer people worldwide new ways to communicate in a global online era. Skype, eBay and PayPal will create an unparalleled ecommerce and communications engine for buyersContinue readingEbay to buy Skype: It’s Official

Was the News Corp Offer for Skype Real?

Was the story that News Corp nearly bought Skype for $3 billion really true? British paper the Independent on Sunday seems to think so:  According to well-placed sources, Skype entered into talks with News Corp over a potential $3bn sale. This would have made a massive profit for the two founders and their backers – Hotmail investor Howard Hartenbaum and four venture capital firms – which together put just $20m into the business. However, talks fell apart last month, just before Rupert Murdoch’s son Lachlan quit his father’s empire. Skype would have fitted in well with News Corp’s satellite TV interests, which include controlling minoritiesContinue readingWas the News Corp Offer for Skype Real?

An Idiot’s Guide To Prepaid GPRS

Further to my earlier post about GPRS traveling woes, I asked Syd Low of AlienCamel to offer his thoughts on the subject. He’s something of an old hand at the game. For the last two years I’ve gone “on the road” to the Alps. My journey goes through Asia, then Switzerland and finally Austria. In 2004 I had a Treo 600 and this year a Treo 650. I’ve used GPRS with prepaid SIM cards in five countries will almost perfect success to stay in touch with friends and colleagues using IM and Email. In Europe, I usually look for a mobile shop at the airport orContinue readingAn Idiot’s Guide To Prepaid GPRS

Skype And The Rise Of a Phenomenon We Can’t Pronounce Properly

I recently noticed an interesting phenomenon: Not everyone agrees on how to pronounce Skype, the Internet telephony service. An American friend calls it ‘Skypy’, a Belgian acquaintance calls it ‘Skypé’, and someone else calls it ‘Skypee’. I even noticed the excellent Skype Journal, when it talks about the video plug in for Skype, Vidpe, says it assumes ‘is the name of the product because it rhymes with Skype ‘. That would make it Skid-pee, would it not? I always thought it was pronounced Skipe. And indeed, have gently mocked anyone who pronounces it otherwise, citing type, pipe, wipe, tripe, gripe, ripe, etc etc. I’ve calledContinue readingSkype And The Rise Of a Phenomenon We Can’t Pronounce Properly

UK WiFi Users Get Free Skype Calls

Skype is moved into wireless telephony by announceing that a deal with UK wireless provider Broadreach, the BBC reports. People using wireless net hotspots will soon be able to make free phone calls as well as surf the net. Wireless provider Broadreach and net telephony firm Skype are rolling out a service at 350 hotspots around the UK this week. Users will need a Skype account – downloadable for free – and they will then be able to make net calls via wi-fi without paying for net access.  

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